40 years ago

Our fire department may provide more services than you think.

On Sept. 20, 1969, four young seminary students on a mercy mission near Santa Barbara, Calif., were involved in a bad accident on Highway 101. The crash killed two of them and seriously injured the other two, one of them Jim Krackenberger of Forest Park. After 52 days in a body cast he was flown home to Chicago and his second-floor apartment here. He suffered additional pain as ambulance attendants struggled to deliver him upstairs as easily as possible. Maneuvering the stretcher-borne body and cast was a difficult and unwieldy operation, especially on the narrow, second-floor stairway.

After two months, he was scheduled for some special treatments at the Oak Park Hospital. Recalling the difficulty of transporting him earlier, Krackenberger’s mother called Fire Chief Del Marousek, who suggested the use of our village snorkel. By sundown, Krackenberger was transferred from his apartment window via the snorkel to a waiting ambulance, then the short ride to the hospital.

From the Jan. 14, 1970, Forest Park Review

30 years ago

A 29-year-old plumber now suffering from an incendiary ulcer put a hot item into the Guinness Book of World Records by firing down 100 jalapeño peppers in 14 minutes and 19 seconds. Think about that! After this searing feat, Ronnie Farmer of Pampa, Texas, said, “My stomach feels like a small campfire, and my throat feels like sandpaper.”

I’ve forgotten my source, but recall the stupidity: A man prepped himself with a couple of beers, answered this by bolting down two big bowls of Texas red hot chili, washed it away with a couple of straight-up martinis, then crowned it with a glassful of baking soda and water (for thy stomach’s sake). Shortly afterward, his stomach exploded. They say he lived. I didn’t make this up.

From the Jan. 2, 1980, Forest Park Review

20 years ago

It’s the kind of news report that literally sets your teeth on edge and now and then can alarm a state, region or an entire nation. Fortunately, this one was discovered, reported, investigated and ultimately resolved with minimal harm to the public.

A woman bought a bag of loose chocolates at the Venture store on Roosevelt Road. After eating a few pieces, she discovered a piece of glass in one of them, plus one or two shards at the bottom, then called 911. Venture immediately removed the candy from its shelves and notified the manufacturer. The story ended there. Good.

From the Jan. 3, 1990, Forest Park Review

10 years ago

Sometimes, when you commit yourself, you just stay committed.

This happened to a River Forest woman, Aphrodite Pantos, when she drove to a Forest Park Osco store. Driving south on Circle near Franklin, she saw a woman waving her down. Stopping, she heard the woman shout, “They took my purse!” Telling the woman to wait there, she spotted two teenagers hightailing it on bicycles, then made her decision to pursue. Sounding her horn, she pulled alongside, yelling, “I know you’ve got her purse, and I’m going to get it back!” After another three or four blocks, Ms. Pantos managed to corner the pair between her car and the curb. Though one of the snatchers got away, she exited her car, and with the help of several neighbors witnessing the commotion, helped contain the other youth until police arrived.

After the cruiser got there the alleged thief resorted to foul words mostly directed at Pantos. Her reply: “If you think you can scare me, you got it all wrong.”

From the Dec. 21, 1999, Forest Park Review